NYSUT Communications |
Saturday May 04 2024 3:22 PM

Lorraine Ferrannini, Retiree Member of the Year

As a proud member of the union’s “daytime army,” Lorraine Ferrannini makes it her mission to recruit and empower more retiree activists. “It’s so important that the retirees know that they still have a role in our union, and they can do it,” she said. Ferrannini is a retiree liaison and coordinator for UFT’s Para Support Line, which was established to help New York City paraprofessionals navigate retirement.

Despite her packed career, Ferrannini is a self-described late bloomer. She didn’t attend college until she was 30, and it was then that she decided to dedicate her life to special education. She was a paraprofessional in New York City’s District 75 for seven years before becoming a special education teacher there. District 75 provides highly specialized instructional support for students with significant physical and emotional challenges. Ferrannini taught for 21 years. “I think God put me on this earth to do just that, to work with those students and to help them and their parents.”

When she first joined the UFT as a substitute teacher, Ferrannini was astonished to discover that there was an organization established explicitly to support workers. She has been a staunch unionist ever since, serving as a chapter leader and delegate before retiring in 2019.